The law of retaliation in love: revenge of lovers in the post confinement for coronavirus – La Stampa

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Photos distracted and strategically posted on social media. Sharp and apparently harmless clues scattered along the path of the partner to be punished, of the lover to leave or be left behind, of the husband (or wife) of others to whom to ruin the day and life. Messages enriched with various and imaginative attachments, photographic evidence of the betrayal occurred delivered by anonymous profiles created for the occasion. That underwear absent-mindedly forgotten between the cushions of the sofa of the beach house, an alcove for moments stolen from their families.

Letters, sms or phone calls to boyfriends, ex, lovers, wives or husbands of their own or others to balance the heart. The vendettas are many, imaginative and dangerous. They are direct or indirect, transversal or for alleged honor, indispensable, dramatically irreversible.

Serve hot, in retrospect, after a long and obsessive organization and mental rumination. Overcoming or lethal. An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth is the common denominator of many love revenge. The law of retaliation is characterized by the desire-need to cause the same pain to those who inflicted it, with the aim of equating the accounts.

Lover for lover, narcissistic wound for narcissistic wound, refusal for refusal. The injured partner refuses to suffer and to process the damage suffered, and stages a whole series of vindictive maneuvers to alleviate his suffering. In his imagination, the suffering of others becomes a balm for his deepest wounds.

“Is the lover’s revenge really useful? How does the betrayed person forgive?” The psycho-sexologist replies

Love, revenge and obsessive thoughts
The discovery of betrayal, for example, generates a deep and bloody wound that not everyone and not immediately are willing to forgive. Some people, or rather some personality structures, are more likely than others to revenge. Those who suffer from a narcissistic personality disorder, those who have a neurotic personality structure, those who have poor impulse control or a paranoid nucleus – those who believe that the world in general and the partner in particular can plot behind them – have a predisposition innate to obsessive rumination. Definitely more inclined to organize and stage vengeful behavior, those who suffer for love, in order to obtain perfect revenge, devise diabolical and machiavellian plans, organized in great detail.

The supporter of the therapeutic power of the law of retaliation begins to think, rethink, mull over and add pieces on pieces until you get to the complete puzzle. The mind goes to show catastrophic thoughts and whenever it encounters them it perceives an atypical feeling of well-being. Visit after visit, thought after thought and piece of the vindictive plan after piece, the way back seems to have been lost.

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The thoughts of revenge take possession of the betrayed’s mind, burst into his daily life, putting him to the test. These are thoughts, often sadistic, that have turned into obsessive and intrusive thoughts, worms of feeling that occupy space and time and that engulf all psychic energy. The only happy thought is given by the planning and concretization of revenge.

In reality, revenge not only does not work, but it contributes to worsening the mood of those who implement it. It brings him back to the past, prevents him from moving forward – towards the reconstruction of the bond or the separation – until he becomes trapped in a situation of immobility and chronic stress.

After revenge, after a first moment of satisfaction, well-being tends to wane very quickly, the rush of adrenaline fades, and lucidity and rationality return to direct the modus operandi of the lone avenger. Finally, a state of deep despair and emptiness for the evil caused appears.

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From revenge to forgiveness
Revenge is not always indispensable, and not always equating accounts in love lays the foundations for being able to start again later. Sometimes it creates wounds so deep as to prevent the rebirth of any type of feeling, even friendly.

The wounds are added to the other previous wounds, and the “vindictive act” (called acting out in psychoanalysis) will leave debris so bulky that they cannot be swept away in any way. Forgiveness, when there are extremes to still be practicable, is certainly the best strategy to avoid physical and psychic, and sometimes, legal complications.

The path to forgiveness is undoubtedly longer and more difficult than the attack of anger; it takes time, patience and effort.

The possibility of forgiving or not depends not on the severity of the damage suffered but on the personological fragility of those who suffer it. Who has had a difficult childhood, who has been an unloved person or who has already suffered other damages and mourning from life, sometimes does not have enough energy to forgive; it unravels under the weight of the narcissistic wound suffered. The pot of anger begins to simmer until it occupies all areas of the betrayed’s psychic life, the reality test is clouded, together with the residual reparative ability, and revenge becomes the only thought-lifesaver.

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Forgiveness, though tiring, leads to liberation from an internal enemy: hatred.

Hate, with its tremendous unstoppable spiral, is a strong, overflowing, lethal feeling. Its smell and taste moves the strings of unconscious gestures and brings with it a real psychological dependence, exactly like love.

To arrive at the implementation of forgiveness, it sometimes becomes essential to resort to psychological help. The place of listening and adequate processing of the damage suffered.

Forgetting does not mean forgiving and forgiving does not mean forgetting, but processing, transforming pain into resources, and moving forward. The best revenge, if there really must be a revenge, as Alda Merini wrote, remains happiness.

* Valeria Randone is a psychologist, specialist in clinical sexology, with a study in Catania and Rome (www.valeriarandone.it) and author of the book “Ex maybe ex”

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https://www.lastampa.it/cultura/2020/05/25/news/la-legge-del-taglione-in-amore-le-vendette-degli-amanti-nel-dopo-confinamento-per-il-coronavirus-1.38888108

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